MOVE OVER – American tourist in Zurich

classic tour in Zurich

Hence, I am flying early back home; I decided to travel a day ahead to Zurich. Travelling alone with a big luggage in tow is a hassle on train but I manage to find my seat. I put my luggage in front besides an empty seat hoping no other passenger will need to sit on it. After a few stops, a smiling couple sits beside me and I am so apologetic about my luggage. They smile, nod their head and shrugged their shoulder off signaling they are not bothered at all. Thank goodness!

Arriving at the Zurich airport on time, I went straight to a waiting hotel shuttle bus. Looking at my watch, I still have the afternoon to see the central town of Zurich. Great!

subway i got to enter to get into the other side of the train station in Kloten

I hurriedly put my things in my room and walk to the train station. The trip took around 20 min and I only have 5 minutes to reach the bus station to where the city tour begins.

inside the subway

It seems the bus is already full when I reach the place but the conductor waves signaling there’s another seat unoccupied.

So I hop in and found the only seat available with a guy sitting with his legs wide open, I politely excused myself to

get into the window seat but he didn’t move at all.

He said, “This seat is too small for two” so I went at the back of the bus trying to find a place and looking to all the passengers, huh! Every seat has two passengers whether fat or thin, big or small, I look again to this guy and he was also thin and definitely I’m not fat! So what’s the problem?

I look at the driver/conductor and with my eyes wide open and arms open, an attitude of “come ‘on do something, where I gonna sit? He got up and with German accent , he talk to the guy whose legs are still widely open, He argues but the driver speaks in German language trying to tell him, this seat is for two understand!

I excused myself again, went to the window seat and the lady (his companion) next to our seat said to him “go to the window so you can see better” so while we are switching I commented, “you know we all paid for this tour, everyone should have a fair share”!

i missed all the nice view

If only I have enough time, I would love to go down from the bus and refund my fare but I remained seated, half of my butt on the seat and half is out (with my eyes rolling , I told myself this is gonna be my day!) The bus started to move, I put my feet firmly on the floor trying to balance so I won’t fall and positioned my camera to take pictures, I want to get his face but I hesitated, not to fuel the fire more than to burst, we are after all in a foreign land. Who needs trouble?

After 20 minutes, he started a conversation, his legs still wide open and half of my butt still out, rolling my eyes again, ah what now?

He asked, from where are you?

Me: from Philippines (my reply is as stiff as my neck, trying to get a good picture of the scenery)

the best i can get (fuming)

He: Oh! a lot of Filipinos in America ( I know you are trying to tell me you are an American)

Me: yeah, of course everywhere there’s a lot of Filipino tourist, here in Europe and in America! Everywhere! (keeping my eyebrow down)

He: I mean Filipina nurses working in a hospital. (His voice more relax so as his legs, my butt still out!)

Me: So you are working as what? (I didn’t roll my eyes, but one eyebrow a little up; I wonder what he is up to)

He: I am a medical doctor.

Me: oh I see, and what specialty? (Professional and an American Doctor, where is your etiquette? Or just simply be a gentlemen!)

He: Neurology (Oh my! And you are acting like that? Have you look around and see all the passengers in two’s seating comfortably) Yesterday, we were on the tour also and it wasn’t like this, the seat are wider.

Me: this is a classic bus, so  what do you expect? I was in Boston last year and they have the same seat, it was fun! (unlike now, thanks to you…)

He: Oh you been to Boston? (This time his legs a bit closing)

this is a memorable picture (really with my butt out)

Me: Yes, I am a Dentist; I did my post grad in Aesthetic Dentistry in University of Minnesota. And now my youngest son is in his first year in Cesar Ritz College of Switzerland. You should visit the Alps, the chocolate factory in Gruyère, Geneva, we had great time last year…(in short, mr. american tourist, I am professional and I’ve been to many places in the world but I don’t act like you, we are all tourist after all!)

I felt he moves his butt and closed his legs a bit but I remained seated as before, No way, I won’t move closer to you Mr. American tourist in Zurich!

Just a small note for you: Please the next time you are on tour be kind and be gentlemen!

Good Manners are universal!

MOVE over !

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Road trip to food trip: MANDI, who needs a decent food in the desert?

wondering whats cooking?

I need a decent food!!! Shout out of the day during our trip to Madaín Saleh. Decent? Civilized? Is there such a thing as civilized food? Knock me out three times but our group defines decent food as no fat, no cholesterol, and no salt, in short a “healthy food”.

We wanted to have fun so no restrictions! Diet was not in our vocab for the three days and two nights were on the trip. Carbonated drinks, chocolates, chips, nuts, hotdog, hamburger, candies, bring it on!

When we were looking for a place to stay, we came across a restaurant that  prepares “Kabsa”-an Arabic dish made of rice mixed with traditional spices, either with chicken, camel, goat or lamb.

kabsa …mandi

A popular way of preparing meat is called mandi. This is an ancient technique, whereby meat is barbecued in a deep hole in the ground that is covered while the meat cooks. Another way of preparing and serving meat for kabsa is mathbi, where seasoned meat is grilled on flat stones that are placed on top of burning embers. A third technique, madghūt, involves cooking the meat in a pressure cooker.

On our first night, we went to the place but they were too busy preparing for a big gathering, we were not able to buy the kabsa , we opted for a chicken instead of Lamb.

indoor picnic

The salon of the rented apartment has a flat cushions sofa, the usual way of eating Kabsa ( i heard ) is by placing the big plate   on the floor and everyone shares, so  basically we had a picnic  inside the apartment.

happy together
the on-lookers, the man is putting spices to basmati rice (long grain)

The following night, everyone agrees, we are not going back to Jeddah without trying the “Kabsa” so we went back again to the same shop and they welcome us with an open arms.The big plate with 4 kilos meat (lamb) cost Sr 500, wow! we are not big eaters! We got the medium plate with 2 kilos of meat and one whole chicken for Sr 250.

boiling meat
flame under

They boiled the meat before putting it into the deep hole with a flame underneath.

ready meat for barbecue
o la la wanna have some Camel?
boiled meat
two men, putting the rice into a boiling spiced meat stock
wow heavy!just goofing around!

Did we survive? of course we did! A well satisfied palate and a belly of happiness. Cheers!

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Weekly photo challenge: Everyday Life

Making of “Walis tingting” a native broom sticks made of palm leaf ribs used daily in cleaning houses in remote area of Katanghawan Island in Caramoan, Camarines Sur, Philippines.

With the advent of technology where there’s a lot of modern cleaning items like vacuum or rakes on sale, I wonder if this is still popular in city houses. For this man, it’s a way of daily life whether it’s for his own use or for sale in the nearby island.

Hot to breeze to chill: Boston, Massachusetts (part 3)

view from skywalk observatory
Boston Harbor

From Atlanta to New York, the weather is not forgiving, My flight was delayed for 45 minutes due to heavy rains, I wonder, why oh why I brought my spring clothes instead of winter clothes! And why do I have to travel always in last minute? I have a meeting to catch at 1 in the afternoon and its 11 in the morning and I am still here in New York.

Atlanta to New York is 2 hrs and 10 min flight and from New York to Boston is 1hr and 15 min flight. Ahh, after so many trips. I still don’t get used to the fact that I came from Saudi Arabia, land of the desert and camels where life stands still five times a day though I live in Jeddah which is more tolerant and cosmopolitan than other cities in Saudi Arabia.Confused? me too!

inside Quincy market

I arrived in Boston with more heavy rain which is predicted to last for a week, Great! From hot and dry… to breeze  and showers… to chill and wet! Yey! Got an excuse for shopping clothes…. ha  ha ha oh well, my hands are tied or should I say I am on continuing educational trip ( which mean…on budget) Do you know how much to attend a dental workshop like this? the first course in Atlanta was US$ 2598 and the 2nd here in Boston, US$1550, plus ticket and hotel accommodation, all these expenses for the sake of giving the most updated, skillfully done Cosmetic Dentistry!

AACD members inside the Hynes' convention Center

Would it be safe to say ; as technology advances, Dentistry advances too… rather than… we (fifty and above) have to keep up with the ever-changing trend and innovation…Young and old has to keep learning and collaborate to give  and share the knowledge and skills for a better oral health of the public. Beautybeyond fifty getting serious 🙂 let’s go back to my escapades.

Massachusetts State House

Boston is the capital and largest city of Massachusetts, the buildings are made of brick and brown stones which gives a more historical essence, the streets are clean, garden and parks are big and green. My room in Sheraton was on the 20th floor overlooking the Back bay view of the city, I can see the roof top of each buildings which were all amazingly clean.

My attention is divided into the great dental workshops and to the beautiful city itself. Every day I just  wished that the rain goes away and comes back again when I’m gone :-). I attended the welcome reception in Jillian’s Boston (near Fenway Park), a social night for about 2,000 dental professionals around the world.We dine, dance and drink. I asked the bartender ” do you have anything without alcohol?: she smiled at me “MINOR’? 🙂 you bet! never had a drink in my golden years! laugh, I know your eyes are wide open, huh!

sky view of greater Boston

Every morning I waited for the sun to rise, the third day, I got a glimpse of sun and hurried up to Sky walk observatory (50th floor of Prudential center) which is just adjacent to the Sheraton Hotel. A spectacular 360 degree views of greater Boston. Oh! Got a bit dizzy up there (good excuse for the outcome of my photos) but not bad as an amateur photographer. What do you think?

Fenway park

If my boys (husband and sons) were with me, we will surely not missed the most awaited game event, Red Sox vs. Cubs at Fenway park, they all love baseball! Towards the end of the week, the sun shines a bit so I did have a time to tour around the city, next blog  please! The Boston Duck tour!

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Hot to breeze to chill : Atlanta Georgia (part two)

From Saudi Arabia  to Atlanta , Georgia , a distinct contrast from hot to breeze, I came 8:30 in the evening, shops close at nine so I hurried up to check if I can find a decent top to wear the following morning. I decided to wear a white top with my black blazer and jeans and my strappy flat open toe sandals, as i mentioned earlier, things happens, you just have to be comfortable with whatever you wear and have some poised and you will be fine.

open toe sandal- i always travel in flat comfortable foot wear

The first thing I noticed in Atlanta are the people, largely African-Americans, but don’t get me wrong, they are very polite and well-mannered. From the taxi driver to the hotel people and to the professionals, they are respectful and polite. In contrast to the taxi driver of Jeddah and to the other people i have met along the way, sometimes they just don’t know how to be nice in some ways.

I came to Atlanta for an advance Aesthetic training in Botox and Filler which i already discussed on my earlier blog.

So , let’s go on with my escapades in Atlanta, It has a reputation as a ” city in a forest” indeed! a lot of  trees around, the environment is so green and a lot of high-rise buildings too.Every corner has a touch of arts and crafts, museum and garden.

bank of america plaza

The tallest building is Atlanta’s Bank of America Plaza (55 story; rank as 42nd tallest building in the world).

I only have a half day to tour around and then travel to another state for another dental meeting, so I brave the rain showers that never stop since the day I came.

coca cola samples from different countries

I was able to see the World of coca-cola museum, taste the different coca cola of the world, around 6o of them, so when i came out I got a bloated tummy and ready to fart  ha ha ha .

world of coca cola

I wonder why Philippines doesn’t have its own coca cola drink?

The Worlds’ largest indoor Aquarium with 8 millions gallons of  fresh and marine water ,of course a lot more to see, I remember my kids (now, they are taller and bigger than us) the big eyes , the smile and excitement in their faces is more than what we can ask for.

It’s Monday but still the aquarium was full of tourist and students on tour.I walk through the Centennial Olympic park to have a glimpse of  Turner CNN building. Unfortunately , i was not able to see the botanical garden of Atlanta

which is close every Monday.

And of course, as ladies always do …Shopping! Atlanta has the biggest outlet of

signature clothes, I was able to visit..take note only visit as in window shopping… 🙂

Lenox square, a luxury retails of Calvin Klein, Zara,Hermes etc. My wish and your wish..let me guess..are all the same. cheers!

Please click on ” my world” to see more photos.

Friday the 13th: Hot to breeze to chill! (part one)

American AIrlines

May 13,2011 Friday. If you’re superstitious, I bet you won’t choose this day to travel because it holds to be the day of bad luck hmmm let me take you to my journey. As I was preparing to zip my luggage I was talking to my boss who doesn’t have any superstitious belief at all, his main concern is to keep the ball rolling on his side. “If anything happens to me, please take care of my children; give them what is due for my 24 years service in the clinic”. To make the story short, I’m off to airport at 6:30 in the morning. God forbid! I am ready to whatever comes to my way. Waiting to depart, I was invited to join (as a gold member of AA advantage) first class lounge, with free breakfast and Wifi ,ahhh  friday the 13th this is a good start!

Well, as always, I felt all eyes turned on me, what is she doing here? If you’re a Filipina working in Saudi Arabia, you know what I mean, the stigma attached to women…. it’s either you’re a Nurse or domestic helper…or you’re married to a foreigner, oh my! We’re already passed millennium that was then! Alright, as I moved my eyes, true! There’s a Filipina traveling with his foreigner husband on a seat not too far from me…there’s another two blond lady reading a novel and mostly are business men (on their best suit) either busy on their phone, reading newspaper or just engaged in a conversation with another man. Only a few second look and everyone is back into their own business.

On boarding, mostly of women still wears their abaya (a black robe we have to wear over our own clothes when were in public) as the plane (British Airways) takes off, abaya is off too. My flight is about six hours and forty-five minutes from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia to London Heathrow. Heathrow is the busiest and biggest hub airport in UK, It has five terminals and I thought I have enough time to my connecting flight (AA –American Airlines) to Atlanta in terminal 5 to my dismay, there’s a long line for security purposes, they are scanning all passengers and hand carry baggage. The express train that will bring me to terminal 5 comes every 15 minutes and I have only 10 minutes left before boarding gate closes, Yes, Friday the 13th are you on me?? I approached the security and showed her my boarding pass and she called immediately the airlines to wait and Walla! I am on my way to Atlanta. If it wasn’t for her, I would have missed my first day of training.

It’s a nine hours flight from London to Atlanta…again a long line for security check but I was not worried this time because I have no connecting flight to catch on, as the immigration officer stamped my entry, I heard a call “Dr. Suarez please approached the customer service” now what??? Friday the 13th…come on…”Dr. Suarez, we’re sorry your baggage was left behind, we will deliver it to your Hotel tomorrow evening” Oh no! I only have my jeans and shirt and my training starts at 8:30 the following morning. I have extra shirt and underwear on my hand luggage but not decent clothes for my meeting. The officer handed me a debit card worth of US$50 (huh! What can I buy for 50?)Your guess is right; my next blog would be what to wear under such circumstances.

The weather is not as I expected, it’s breezy..a little rain shower along the way, as I went to my room and jump on to my bed, Friday the 13th was not so bad after all. I got my luggage after 36 hours of my arrival.

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